Summer is here! One of my favorite weekend activities is finding my way to a farmer’s market in the city and picking the most delicious produce. Let’s talk about all of the things you may find and what you can do with them. Pick up something new each week and get creative.
Stock Up on a Variety of Delicious Summer Produce
Look for leaves that are uniformly dark green. Larger leaves are spicier than smaller leaves. Keep packaged arugula in its original container. Don’t wash arugula until immediately before use. Use in salads or on top of grilled fish.
If you want to eat avocados immediately look for ones that are a bit soft to the touch. Otherwise, buy avocados that are firm and allow them to ripen at room temperature. Use raw on salads, with eggs, as a snack or make some guacamole!
Choose beets that are firm and smooth. Look for beet greens that are bright and not wilted. Don’t throw out the greens! They can be eaten too. Don’t wash beets until immediately before use. Store beets in the crisper. Beets can be roasted and used as a side dish or in salads. Use gloves when working with beets to prevent staining.
Look for brightly colored, plump berries. Don’t wash berries until immediately before eating. Rinse in cold water and pat dry. Eat as a snack or over yogurt.
Find crisp looking stalks without wilting. Store chard in the crisper. Wash chard in cold water and pat dry. Use in salads or sautéed as a side.
Choose bright and shiny fruit with the stems still attached. Rinse the cherries and remove the pit before using in dishes. Eat them as a snack or pitted and chopped in a salad.
You May Also Like: 8 Delicious Sources for Plant-Based Proteins
Look for fresh corn that has plump, bright kernels and tight husks. Cook corn the same day you buy it or store in the fridge for a couple of days. Remove the husks and silks before cooking. Grill or boil corn or cut kernels off the cob and add to salads and salsas.
Pick eggplants that are firm, smooth, and heavy for their size. Cook eggplant within a few days of buying. Peel large eggplants as the skin is tough and hard to eat. Use them for a vegetarian main dish or chopped in a side dish.
Choose fragrant, smooth figs. They smell delicious! They can be stored in the fridge for up to five days. Eat them whole, slice for salads or over yogurt.
Look for melons that are heavy for their size and give a little with pressure. Ripe melons can be stored at room temperature. Melons that have been cut should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Slice melon and scoop out the seeds. Use in salads, for appetizers or as a snack.
Choose potatoes that are firm with no dark spots, cuts or sprouts. Store in a cool, dry place away from onions. Scrub potatoes before using and use within a few days of buying them. I’m sure you have a few delicious potato recipes up your sleeve!
Find leaves that are dark green and smooth. Remove any wilted leaves from the bunch and store in the crisper. Rinse spinach and spin dry (using a salad spinner). Use as the base of a salad or sauté as a side.
Peaches, nectarines and plums. Look for fruit that is smooth and firm. They generally smell just as good as they taste! Once they are tender to the touch store in the crisper. Use in salads, as a dessert with ice cream or as a snack.
Zucchini and yellow squash. Choose medium sized squash with brightly colored skin. Store in the crisper. Lightly scrub before cooking. Sauté, bake, fry or grill them as a side.
Pick peppers with smooth, firm skin. Store peppers in the crisper. Green bell peppers last a few days longer than yellow, orange and red bell peppers. Wash peppers and remove ribs and seeds before cooking. Roast peppers, eat them raw or stuff for a vegetarian main dish.
Look for plump tomatoes with firm skin. Tomatoes and heirloom tomatoes come in various colors so don’t be afraid to try them all! Store tomatoes at room temperate. Gently rinse tomatoes before use. Use in salads, on sandwiches and wraps, in salsas or side dishes.
Find smooth, round watermelons that produce a dull sound when tapped. Store watermelon in the refrigerator. Wrap sliced watermelon in plastic wrap before storing in the fridge. Use watermelon as a snack or a sweet dessert.